Kyiv has released new footage showing Ukrainian attacks on Russian targets in the Black Sea amid rising tensions in a region that has seen frequent Ukrainian attacks on the Kremlin Navy.
The Black Sea is an essential battlefield for Ukrainian and Russian forces. Russia has frequently launched missile attacks against Ukrainian Black Sea cities, such as the sea-launched Kalibry missile.
In recent months, Ukraine has deployed air and sea drones in the region to attack Russian targets, notably Novorossiysk in mainland Russia and Crimea.
“Such a naval fleet is used to conduct special operations and certainly plays a role in the liberation of the temporarily occupied Black Sea coast,” Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and head of Ukraine’s development programs said. “The sea drone is a unique and secretive Ukrainian development,” he added.
Earlier this month, the U.S.-based Institute for War Studies (ISW) said the Ukrainian military uses naval drones to “set the stage for future crucial operations” in the Black Sea region.
KievKyiv’sces are “now pushing much deeper into Russia’s rear and attacking naval targets,” the think tank added.
The Black Sea was also the subject of an expiring treaty that guaranteed the safe shipment of Ukrainian grain to the rest of the world, allaying fears of global shortages. Russia withdrew from the United Nations-coordinated agreement in mid-July. They now regard vessels in the region as munitions smugglers and closely monitor the airspace above.
On Sunday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said its patrol ship Vasily Bykov fired warning shots at a cargo ship in the Black Sea around 6:40 p.m. Moscow time (11:41 p.m. EST) after the boat failed to respond to a request to allow an inspection.
Ukraine said Thursday it would create a new “humanitarian corridor” to release wary cargo ships stuck in Ukrainian ports.